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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Seasons Greetings from Bettertax


At this time of year it's traditional to extend our thanks and good wishes to all of you who were already clients, who have become new clients and will hopefully continue to have us help you with your tax refunds for future years.

We not only thrive on obtaining the very maximum tax rebate possible for tradesmen, CIS or PAYE, but we also provide the very best customer experience and service in our industry that we can.

We've gone to great lengths to make ourselves as accessable to you by having an easy to navigate website, welcoming our client and new client friends to interact with us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, enjoying community life on trades forums,  and now writing, what we hope, are useful and understandable blogs!

Thanks to you all for a great year, we hope yours has been good too and our very best wishes to you all for a successful 2012!


Bettertax - Tradesman's Tax Refund Specialists

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Friday, 16 December 2011

How Long Does A CIS Tax Refund Take

 We thought it may be helpful to set out a typical timeframe for processing a tradesman's CIS Tax Refund. Although we also complete the tax return process for PAYE tradesmen, this article is typical for CIS tradesmen.

As soon as we are contacted, either by phone or our "Request a Callback" facility, we organise a pack to be sent out. The pack contains everything needed to get the tax rebate process started.

In the majority of cases in order to proceed a UTR number will be required. The returned application form is forwarded to HMRC as soon as we receive it. It can take between 4 - 8 weeks for HMRC to issue the UTR number.


Being CIS, the claimant should have details of their earnings and this information undoubtedly speeds up the process. As soon as we receive the UTR number and the client knows earnings details, we can arrange an appointment to take relevant expense details.

It takes Bettertax 24 - 48 hours to collate the information, complete the tax return and make the submission to HMRC.

From the time the tax return is submitted to the tax refund being put into our bank by HMRC can take 8 - 12 weeks. During this time HMRC sometimes write to the claimant to say how much the tax refund is going to be. However, it's worth pointing out at this stage that the money can sometimes take another 4 weeks to come through to us.

Bettertax never hold tax refund money - as soon as the tax refund hits our bank, we send it on to you!

These timings are an indication of what a new client can expect. If the claim is for more than one year, the tax refund may take a little longer to come through, and we can claim back tax for 4 years.

As an existing client, the tax rebate process takes considerably less time, already having a UTR number and being registered with us.

We hope this blog explains the procedure and also highlights that delays are never on Bettertax's side!

Bettertax - Tradesman's Tax Refund Specialist

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Offshore Rig Workers and Sea-farers Tax – dispelling the myths

We recently were made aware of a warning pamphlet/ poster produced by the O.I.L.C,  the Offshore Energy Branch of the RMT.

The “URGENT  -  ATTENTION ALL OFFSHORE WORKERS” poster can be found here.

We fully agree with everything stated by the O.I.L.C.  We've read it and it is specifically in relation to sea-farers tax.

This is in no way related to what Bettertax do, and does not describe our work, less than 1% of all clients that come to us for tax advice actually qualify for it and we have never claimed it on behalf of a client only to see it clawed back by HMRC.

Anyone who comes to Bettertax is made very aware that we're very clear about the rules regarding this tax relief. For those in any doubt, here are the rules for claiming sea-farers tax & If you don’t tick ALL of these boxes, you
DO NOT qualify.

1. You must be located a minimum of 12 miles from the British coastline (i.e. on the Continental shelf)

2. You must be directly involved with a) the exploration or the transportation of a mineral or oil (basically, working directly with the drill head).

3. You must be offshore for a minimum of 183 days ‘consecutively’ (Unite are currently disputing this in European Court but as yet NO decision has been made).



Unfortunately, O.I.L.C do not name the tax adviser they are warning their members about and whilst we agree with it we do feel their final warning paragraphs are a little ambiguous if the whole article has not been read thoroughly, and much confusion aboard the rigs has ensued.


“IN SHORT; IF YOU ARE ON A PLATFORM, JACK-UP, SEMI, OR FPSO, YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO A TAX RETURN.” (O.I.L.C)


To put things in perspective, over 45% of Bettertax’s clients are offshore workers who work for Salamis, Palmers, Cape Industrial, RBG and Pyeroy to name but a few. The range of trades includes Scaffolders, Blasters, Roustabouts etc, and what we do is absolutely nothing to do with Seafarer Tax – these guys all incur expenses ranging from offshore survival course’s, medicals, MIST courses,  travelling to and from Aberdeen, Tools,Protective equipment – what we do is help them claim relevant expenses on these purchases.  


To be clear, If you are working for any of those firms or others similar, and NOT claiming sea-farers tax, you ARE indeed legally entitled to claim back expenses on the purchases you have made for work.

Bettertax - Tradesman's Tax Refund Specialists